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  • The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the country's finances was laid bare today as official figures show the economy saw its biggest drop since extreme weather direct economic activity 300 years ago.

  • The Office for National Statistics said that in 2020 the total value of goods and services produced in the UK, known as GDP, fell by 9.9%.

  • There waas growth of 1% in the last three months of the year, which means the UK isn't technically now in recession.

  • But with locked down expected to stay in place until early spring, experts say the hit to the economy will continue at least until the effects of the vaccination program kick in.

  • Here's our economics editor Faisal Islam.

  • Cupid's Arrows being felt rather less than normal What should be a bumper time for florists?

  • Such a Susan in Stevenage, it caps the toughest of years.

  • I'm not even going to do Valentine's Day.

  • I can't pre order hundreds of roses and then not sell bean really hard year.

  • I've just had to sit and watch my weddings one by one postpone to the following year.

  • What am I going to do if I can't do this.

  • And if my weddings keep us bone and if they start canceling, I don't think I'll be here 2022.

  • Susan's just one of the stories that made 2020 the wrong sort of economic history, even compared to other large shocks, depressions and wars last year, the worst on record.

  • In fact, in over three centuries, what's clear is right now, many families on businesses are experiencing hardship.

  • That's why we've put in place a comprehensive plan for jobs to support people.

  • Through this crisis on, we will set out the next stage of our economic response At our budget in early March, the pandemic and shutdowns did hit a UK economy dependent on services more than other nations.

  • We've had the worst death toll of any European country, but we've also had that worst economic crisis off any major economy as well.

  • We really need public spending to be directed into the right places, not have this level of waste and mismanagement of public funds.

  • This afternoon, the chancellor chaired a meeting of the biggest economies finance ministers, the G seven different ways of measuring health and education, explains some of the UK under performance here, so the numbers for 2020 is the whole understandably stark.

  • But that's history Now.

  • What matters is what's happening in the economy right now.

  • And you could build a picture with alternative statistics on road traffic, for example, down 47% for cars on the same period last year.

  • Online job adverts They're down around 1/5 number of people on the High Street footfall.

  • Well, that's down two thirds across the United Kingdom with London these Midland's in Scotland, the hardest hit.

  • But not all of that spending has gone.

  • The Bank of England's internal credit card and debit card data show a fall off 24% in sales, with much shifting online on the High Street Here in Stevenage, Brian's record shop has tried to shift online with help from government support.

  • Andan Understanding Landlord, How much longer can you put up with this for 60% down on our overall revenue for the shop, at least for us, we don't have to throw away our stock, you know people will come back and that stuff will have the same value.

  • So I think in retail terms we're better off than and pubs and restaurants.

  • I think the pubs and restaurants in the old tone have been badly hit.

  • The vaccine roll out and eventual lifting of restrictions should lead to an economic bounce back from the 2020 pain.

  • 2021 could yet be a rather better sounding record.

  • Well, Faisal is with me now.

  • Just on that point, Faisal is the picture likely to get any rosier this year.

  • Fall of this historic magnitude is always going to have implications for years to come, but it is also, history reflects.

  • What happened last year in 2020 reflects what viewers will have seen in the high streets and in their offices during the peak of the lock down.

  • But I think going forward clearly depends on to balancing acts for the government, the balancing act over lifting restrictions.

  • And we expect the prime minister to make an announcement on that in the final week off February on the road out off the restrictions, and it may take weeks or months in a phased way on.

  • Then, the week after that, at the budget in early March, the chancellor will have the balancing act off how much support to offer to the economy for jobs and also for business cash flow.

  • How to keep that going.

  • But also balancing that with what he told me was the need to be open and honest with the public about the some of the measures required to rein in the record level off borrowing.

  • So that will mean in the immediate year that support will continue, that there'll be money put into the economy but going on from that in years to come.

  • Some forms of tax rice, perhaps green taxes, online taxes, freezing off the income tax thresholds.

  • But the hope is, if you get this sequence right, that you could see quite a rapid recovery in the second half of 2021.

  • Faisal, thank you.

  • Are economics editor Faisal Islam there?

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the country's finances was laid bare today as official figures show the economy saw its biggest drop since extreme weather direct economic activity 300 years ago.

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Pandemic causes UK’s biggest slump in economic output for 300 years - BBC News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/13
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